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For the past 14 years, Studio12 has been giving the young people of Leeds access to industry-standard equipment, teaching them the skills they need to work behind the scenes in the city’s burgeoning media sector. Leeds City Council have seats on various industry bodies, and use this to get insight into what software, hardware and skills their users will need to master, before teaming up with us to work out how to implement these without breaking the bank.
“Leeds has a massive, growing media sector that our young people aspire to be part of, and so [Leeds City Council] wanted to provide access to a range of industry facilities free of charge through our library service,” explained Jamie Hutchison, Studio12’s manager. “We try and work out what those industries need, and ensure that the software and equipment we’re using is relevant to what the industry’s about – we adapt ourselves to reflect what’s going on in the industry, rather than offering a fixed portfolio.”
As part of that effort to keep pace with industrial change, Studio12 aims to refresh its studio setup at least once every five years. When it was time for their latest refresh, they knew two things: they wanted to make the jump to 4K, and they would need to update their hardware in order to perform post on such large files.
“ Jigsaw24 have been really good at understanding our relationship to both the council and the film industry. If you’re working with film, they’re a very professional and helpful company to get involved with and they know that process from start to finish."
“Storage, speed and adaptability were the main things that we wanted to get out of the new system, but we also wanted to be able to use the latest versions of Adobe Creative Cloud and Logic, which required a new OS,” said Jamie.
The first thing we did was replace Studio12’s ageing Macs with 12 high-spec iMacs running the latest version of macOS, ensuring they have the firepower to stay at the forefront of creative workflows until their next refresh. They’ve also updated to the latest versions of Creative Cloud and DaVinci Resolve for video post, Logic and Cubase for audio, and even started working with on-camera records
to push their native shooting rates event higher – all of which the new iMacs can handle comfortably.
Due to the increasing number of users taking advantage of Studio12, the team wanted to upgrade their shared storage. We helped them design and deliver a shared storage system that delivered ten times more capacity than their previous system. This happens over a faster network than they’ve ever used before, so they can, as Jamie says, “deal with huge file sizes and all of our processes across multiple users.” To ensure that the system was up to the challenge, we actually built and tested it at our site before even quoting Studio12 for the installation.
“That Jigsaw24 took the time to test the system before quoting was one of the main reasons they won the tender,” Jamie told us. “We have to work within a council system, whether we’re using Mac, PC or Linux, and Jigsaw24 really understood that, and spent time investigating and considering our needs before designing a bespoke system.”
“Jigsaw24 have been great from the start. They’ve been fantastic: very efficient, the install was a really nice process and the support afterwards from their engineers has been really good – and they were able to handle the process of going through a council system on such a large order. ”
The installation went so smoothly that Jamie claims “some of our users haven’t even noticed, which I think means it’s gone really well, because it’s been non- disruptive. They’re able to just come in and get on with their work, but now we’ve got the speed and the space to continue to develop the next generation of media producers, and that’s what’s really important to us.”